WWII Veteran turns 100, reminisces on near-death experience

BARREN CO., Ky.-One Barren County man is about to join the triple digit club! 

“No, I didn’t think I’d ever live to be this old,” said Edwin Smith. 

Edwin Smith is turning 100 in less than two weeks. On Tuesday morning the Barren County Fiscal Court declared April 12th ‘Edwin Smith Day.’

Smith served in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II, and nearly died in a plane crash. 

“God, I need your help,” he remembered saying. 

He was the co-pilot of a B-29 Superfortress when suddenly it collided with another B-29. Somehow, he managed to pull his parachute and survive the crash.

“When I hit the ground, I looked, I went boom boom boom three different times, my body would shoot, pick up then hit again,” said Smith. 

He was one of only two survivors. The remaining 18 members on the planes did not.

“God saved my life and I hope He forgave me and I hope He forgave me for the drinking, the smoking, the lude women and everything else,” said Smith. 

Fellow World War II Veteran, Lee Robertson, was there to celebrate Smith. 

“My days of combat and war were hell, it’s tough. But my overall feeling about the military, I enjoyed it,” said Robertson. 

Robertson is 100 years and 10 months old, welcoming Smith into the century club. 

“In two months and 20 days I’ll be 101…time just flies by,” said Robertson. 

“You can’t go out of town, you need to stay here so I can talk to you about how you do it,” said Smith. 

Smith wants to share his decades of wisdom. 

“A good advice for me to give all these younger people is when you get into a situation, where you have to make a decision, you make that decision based upon what will happen to you tomorrow,” said Smith.